This Thai Animal Shelter Nurses Disabled Dogs Back To Life With The Help Of Vets And Wheelchairs

This Thai Animal Shelter Nurses Disabled Dogs Back To Life With The Help Of Vets And Wheelchairs


Given the days we live in, it’s a shame that some of the purest animals on the planet—dogs—often end up homeless or are just born in the streets. Strays are a big problem in our modern-day world, but the problem seems to escalate to another level in Thailand, since Thai culture is not used to sympathizing with street animals, which are often synonymous with various diseases or causes of conflict between people.

However, despite the lack of proper care for animals in Thailand, there is one person who has taken matters into his own hands. A Swedish chef named Michael J. Baines had moved to Thailand and after some time there, he opened an animal shelter “The Man That Rescues Dogs”. Baines is a founder and the president of the said shelter and during his time in the foreign country, he has already saved over 2,000 dogs and cats that were left to fend for themselves and live on the streets. We spoke about Baines previously in one of our posts 4 years ago; however, at that time, Michael didn’t have a proper and advanced shelter yet. He was just feeding the animals on the street, and yet he still saved over 80 lives this way.

10 years ago Michael started saving dogs from the streets, and now he operates the shelter with his 30 members of staff, including assistant Chris Chidichimo that helps him around

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Looking after such a big shelter with so many animals simply cannot be easy, so Bored Panda reached out to “The Man That Rescues Dogs” and interviewed the shelter’s main assistant Chris Chidichimo. First, we decided to ask about the biggest challenge that comes with taking care of so many animals daily.

“The biggest challenge is facing different situations that come up unexpectedly. We have our routine with feeding, walking, cleaning, physio and hydrotherapy, things like that. But as a rescue organization, we’re dealing with severe emergency cases on a daily basis. Therefore, we have to remain flexible, but it is definitely a challenge.”

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

As we mentioned before, “The Man That Rescues Dogs” is a very big shelter that takes care of 600 dogs daily, so we were quite curious to hear about what a usual day there sounds like.

“Up at 5 am cleaning and preparing for the day. The wheelchair gang and the others go for a walk at 6 am. Then the nearly 600 dogs at our shelter are fed breakfast. Our truck heads out at 7 am to feed 350 street dogs in our community. Then more cleaning. 600 dogs poop a lot! At 10 am we do hydro and physiotherapy, giving our disabled dogs additional exercise. Dogs are walked again at 2 pm, then fed again, then more cleaning.

We also operate a free-of-charge clinic. It is booked solid every day. We have two veterinarians and one assistant working full-time. We don’t charge for our service as long as we can spay or neuter their pet. It’s more important for us to have healthy, vaccinated, and sterilized animals in our community than it is to turn a profit.”

The street animal shelter was co-founded as early as 2011, but Michael was very dedicated and decided to strive for more

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Taking care of so many sick, injured, or simply neglected dogs can be hard not only physically, but mentally too. Therefore, we wanted to find out about the good parts too. Despite all the hardships the shelter is faced with daily, we asked Chris about the best part of the whole process when it comes to rescuing so many animals.

“Without a doubt, it’s giving the sick, neglected, abused street dogs of Thailand the second chance that they deserve. When you see a paralyzed dog in their wheelchair for the first time, running free and smiling, that’s right up there as one of the best parts of the process.”

As the pandemic continues to roar worldwide, we cannot say that it hasn’t affected non-profit organizations such as shelters. Therefore, we asked Chris to give us some insight about the situation in their own shelter.

“Well, the 40% drop in donations has affected us greatly. We’ve had to suspend our monthly spay and neuter campaigns. Our clinic is operating 5 days a week instead of 7. With few visitors, donations of food and supplies have significantly dropped. Volunteers help with daily tasks and sharing their experiences. Without them, there is an increased workload for the staff and a decrease in our presence in the world of social media.”

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Given the amount of work the shelter does daily, we couldn’t help but ask Chris how the shelter and the staff handle the stress and pressure that comes with such difficult work.

“When you love what you do, you just have to remember that every single part of our job is to better the lives of the dogs in our care. It’s intense and definitely emotional at times. When our hearts get broken as they often do, you just remember there are others that need us. It’s ok to stop, have a good cry, and then continue on serving the dogs that need us.”

Therefore, in 2019, he decided to open a veterinary and rehabilitation clinic where hundreds of dogs have already been treated

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

At last, we asked Chris about the importance of donations to the shelter.

“We are funded entirely on donations. It costs 40,000 baht ($1,350 USD) per day every single day for us to operate. People can follow us on Facebook and on Instagram @themanthatrescuesdogs to see the lives transformed and how their donations are used. We feel the work that we do is important and we can’t do it alone.”

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

The shelter currently has 600 dogs in total, and most animals they find seemed to be either injured, sick, or paralyzed dogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Michael and the staff around the shelter do their best to give these pups a chance at a better life

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

The shelter is located in the province of Chon Buri, in eastern Thailand, and serves 45  dogs with disabilities (about 30 paralyzed, several blind, and some are distemper survivors)

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

The shelter gives the dogs the opportunity to move again with the help of technical support specially designed for them

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

In addition, the veterinary clinic allows some of these animals to recover some of their lost mobility, greatly improving their quality of life

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Many of these dogs have lost their hind legs, often due to accidents, but are able to adapt quickly to the “cart” that volunteers place so they can walk and run again

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Here are some heart-wrenching before and after transformations of the dogs that were brought to “The Man That Rescues Dogs” shelter

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Image credits: themanthatrescuesdogs

Given all the good things the shelter has done for the animals over time, many of the local residents have also supported the project by volunteering, adopting one or more dogs, and collaborating with donations

H/T: themanthatrescuesdogs |  Instagram | Facebook | tmtrd.org | linktr.ee